There are some episodes of Outlander when I feel like there isn’t enough time to breathe; when there is simply too much going on and perhaps they should have stretched it out over another episode. This is not one of those times. “Heaven and Earth,” season three’s tenth episode, feels like the story could have easily been told in half the time. Usually, when I do a recap, I’ll go through the show pretty much beat for beat, but since it’s Thanksgiving weekend (and there isn’t any overlapping of storylines), I’m going to be doing it a little differently.
Last week’s episode picks up pretty much where we left off, except we’re on the Artemis, rather than the Porpoise, when the British Man of War sets sail with Claire onboard.
Jamie, seeing this, forgets that he’s not actually the captain of this ship and tells the men to give the larger ship chase. Captain Raines hears this, tells Jamie to calm the fuck down, the Artemis will go at a safe pace, and the Captain of the Porpoise has promised to reunite him with his wife in Jamaica. Seems reasonable, no? Evidently not, since Jamie pulls a weapon and then everyone does and long story short, Jamie ends up in the brig.
When Fergus goes to visit his seasick foster-father, Jamie tells him he’s worried about Claire being aboard the Porpoise with all those men. He
demands asks Fergus to get the keys from the captain and set him free. Jamie says then they can overtake the ship and go full sail after Claire, because mutiny always works. Fergus tries to reason with Jamie that A) They will fail, not enough men would follow him, and B) They are so far behind
the Porpoise they couldn’t catch it now, anyway. Jamie takes this refusal super well, and tells Fergus that it was a good thing he didn’t give Fergus and Marsali his blessing. He then goes into a frankly dickish rant about how Fergus couldn’t know what love is, if he’s not willing to risk death and Hell and whatnot for it. I’m sure Claire would be absolutely thrilled that she traveled so far only to have her husband killed out of sheer bullheadedness. When berating and guilt tripping doesn’t work, Jamie tells Fergus that he’ll give them his blessing to marry if Fergus steals the Captain’s keys. Fergus looks torn, and leaves.
Later, Fergus tells Marsali about Jamie’s “request.” Marsali brings up a very valid point: that should they do this and fail (which they 100% would), they would both be killed and there would be no one left to protect her from the other men. They then start to get busy, what with no parental supervision, but Fergus stops before it gets too far, telling Marsali that he gave Jamie his word to not be with her til their wedding night and he won’t break it.
On his way to talk to Jamie, Fergus then overhears the Captain and his men talking about them and how it’d just be easier to throw them overboard. There are some choice words said about Marsali, also. Fergus then tells Jamie that he didn’t get the keys, because he didn’t try. He won’t send Jamie to his death, and he won’t leave Marsali unprotected, even if it means they can never marry. He loves her too much. Once the Artemis gets to trickier waters, Captain Raines releases Jamie after he gives his word not to freak out again. It’s clear Fergus had a hand in getting him out without the whole dying part, and Jamie, in turn, gives the young couple his blessing. Woohoo!
Now, while all of this is happening onboard the Artemis, the Porpoise has its own problems; Namely plague. Claire’s first thing is to steal the men’s grog to sanitize her and everyone else’s hands, and to have the healthy men clean the disgusting sick bay. Pound, her assistant (and adorable kid), is quick with a sharp word and support for Claire any time someone has an issue being ordered about by a lady doctor. While tending the sick, Claire and Pound get to know each other: Pound’s name is Elias and he’s fourteen years old, an orphan, and only joined the Porpoise fir this trip, though he’s been at sea for half his life. Pound also suggests that they have two pressed men distill the rum into pure alcohol, which will be much more sanitary. This is advice Claire gratefully takes before requesting the previous surgeon’s journal.
Claire goes looking for the source of the disease and finds that, the first men infected were all part of the carpenter’s crew and only one man survived. That man was (of course) reassigned to the galley, and there we see the salty ass cook again. Cook’s not happy that he’s losing his last hand (and his water, and rum), but the captain takes Claire’s side, isolating the source of the disease.
That evening, there’s a burial at sea for all the lost men. Pound explains to Claire that when wrapping and sewing the body, the final stitch is always through the nose (to make sure they’re dead), and always done by a friend. It’s a sad scene and you can see how weary the men are after losing so many. Later that night, Cook once again confronts Claire about the men they lost, and Pound once again intervenes. Pound is Claire’s fucking shadow. He tells her that after watching her for three days, he doesn’t think the men will have luck to thank if they gt through it, and gives her a lucky rabbit’s foot his mother gave him before she passed. The moment is interrupted when someone comes to tell Claire that another man is ill. Claire rushes to check, but turns out the man doesn’t have typhoid, but rather got a hold of her alcohol and poisoned himself. Seamen will drink literally anything. Claire assures Annekje Johansen (drunky McGee’s wife) that he’ll be fine and thanks her. Annekje has been tending the goats, and the goats are basically all that is keeping them alive.
While below deck, Claire notices a Portuguese flag and, remembering the ship that took Young Ian, goes to the Captain’s quarters to ask if the flag is from the Bruja. Captain Leonard isn’t there, but that has never stopped Claire, who goes paging through his Captain’s Log. After she finds that the ship wasn’t the Bruja, Claire also discovers that a seaman aboard the ship recognized Jamie, and his seditious past. Before Claire can read further, Cook pops up again, this time wondering what the hell she’s doing. Cook tells Claire he doesn’t like her (because he’s been so good at hiding it til now) and walks towards her menacingly. Claire tells him to let her go or she’ll tell Captain Leonard he tried to violate her. Not wanting to pit his word against hers, Cook lets her go, and Claire begins the search for Harry Tompkins.
Claire tells Pound that Tomkins may be another source of the disease, which pretty much means the men will do her work for her in hunting him down. Sure enough, he’s brought to her quickly and it’s One-Eye from the print shop fire! Tompkins tells her he knows who she is and, more importantly, who her hubby is. When Claire looks like she might… saw him to death?… Tompkins tells her to go ahead and kill him, after the month he’s had. After the fire, Sir Percival pressed him into service instead of promoting him and the damn ship he’s on has the plague. He also tells Claire that it doesn’t matter if he’s dead or not, since they found the minty fresh dead dude in the casket and the warrants for treason and murder are already drawn up and waiting. Jamie will be hanged once they make landfall in Jamaica, and Captain Leonard is ambitious enough to assure it happens.
After hearing this distressing news, Claire goes below and sees Annekje tending to her goats. Annekje gives her some cheese, and Claire tells her all about her troubles with Jamie. Annekje (who doesn’t speak much English) tells Claire she’ll help her and that her goats need grass. Confused, Claire goes to check on her patients. The deck is silent at last. There is no more moaning and sounds of illness, just men sleeping.
On deck, the men are in a jovial mood, save one. Pound is stricken with typhoid and Claire gets to him just in time to answer his call for his mother, telling him it’s time to come home. I knew as soon as we got to know Pound that he was doomed. They bury him at sea, and a teary-eyed Claire returns the rabbit foot and performs the last stitch.
That night Captain Leonard comes to see Claire. She’s still upset over the loss of her friend, and feeling pessimistic since they’re almost out of drinking water. Leonard tells her that her efforts were nothing short of heroic, and if they both do their best, it will work out. Literally seconds later, Claire is told that they’ll make landfall at Grand Turk the next day. This is where the goats come in. Annekje needs to feed her goats, so Claire goes on land to assist. Annekje tells Claire to run and warn Jamie while a guard isn’t looking, and Claire makes a break for it. She doesn’t get far before running into Leonard and some men, who were patrolling the area for deserters. Captain Leonard tells Claire he knows she went through his log, and though he’s sorry for it, he has a duty to report Jamie and cannot let Claire warn him. So much for debts of gratitude, eh? Leonard does seem upset but he swore an oath, and so sends Claire back.
Late that evening, with the lights of port in the distance, Annekje tells Claire to jump ship. She gives Claire some money and a raft, and after some convincing, Claire hops off the Porpoise so she can swim to land.
Now, it may seem like a lot happened in this recap, but honestly this could have all happened in half the time, and felt dragged out as a whole episode to itself. We have a lot to get through and if I were gonna pick and choose which bits I wanted more of, Claire and Jamie apart while Claire battles typhoid ain’t it. I’d much rather have more time at Lallybroch or even Edinburgh, but I’m really excited to see what happens when Claire gets to land this week!
What did you think of Heaven and Earth? Did you want to smack Jamie as much as I did?